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After 17 years as our Shop Manager, Rick Brodeur, who has been an integral part of our team here at Ragtops & Roadsters, has decided to retire. Rick has always been a lifetime Austin Healey enthusiast, and after meeting Mike at a local car show, Rick soon found himself at Ragtops swinging spanners on MGs, Austin Healeys and Triumphs. As the business grew Rick moved into the position of Shop Manager. He also began to work on developing custom restoration-based software to help track the progress of all the work coming into the shop. In 1995 along came the new building on Fourth St with more space, and as more projects were undertaken the business steadily grew though the late nineties. Rick has always enjoyed the challenges of restoration, especially those that the rare cars present. Jaguar, AC Bristol, Lotus and Morgan began coming along with the MGs, A/Hs and Triumphs. As his responsibilities increased, he has been managing a staff of six team members through all phases of restoration from rusty car to award-winning automobile, as well as continuing to refine the IT systems here at R&R. As a passionate Austin Healey enthusiast he has been a member of the Austin Healey Sport & Touring Club and participated in many Encounters throughout the years. Now that he’s retired, he is making plans to repair a leaking seal in his 1974 Midget that he has kept on the road for almost 20 years and he currently holds the R&R record for most years using a British Car as his daily driver! He also has a Big Healey BT7 waiting for him in his carriage barn at home and is now spending some time volunteering his restoration knowledge on a P-61 Mustang at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum in Reading…. He will be missed. Rick has been working part-time over the past several months with his replacement to insure a smooth transition. Carl Houpert has also been a car enthusiast since his teenage years with his first “proper car” being that of a Primrose Yellow Triumph TR-4. He and his brother kept the car running until it was crashed…Not by Carl. He later became a factory-certified technician at Holbert’s Volkswagen and worked with them as VW finally realized they needed to add water to make their cars pass emissions. After working with VW he spent 14 years in the world of electronics as the Eastern Regional Sales Manager for Sony Corporation. He currently owns and maintains a 69 Beetle and 66 VW Bus and we are trying get him back into a proper British Motorcar again! Carl brings with him an excellent understanding of customer service as well as a very good technical background in what it takes to get the job done right. He has fully transitioned into Rick’s seat and we all look forward to working with him in the years ahead. Carl is looking forward to meeting our clients over the next several months, so you will see him at the shop or speak with him on phone when you call in for the service that you have been putting off! Who knows?...maybe Carl will buy your LBC.
On Sunday November 18, 2012 was the annual "Put Em Away Run" hosted by DVR-CCCA.  A gorgeous day for the 12 car group which was attended by the DVR-CCCA,Pottstown AACA and the Bentley Drivers Group. The group met at the WaWa in West Chester, PA . The cars took a one hour winding road tour of the wonderful roads in West Chester. One of the stops along the way was in Spring City, PA. The group was introduced to a wonderful collection of Carriages and Rolls Royces. Mr. Harry Tucci gave a knowledgeable guided tour of his collection for approximately an hour. The group could have stayed all day, however they had one more stop before the run was over. The group returned to their cars for another 20 minute ride to Pollock Auto Restoration for their Fall Open House.  At Pollock's the group was given a guided tour thru the shop with explanations of the current jobs and each department. As usual there was a nice array of snacks in the office area.
Sandy Slams the Car World
From - American Collector newsletter, November 2012
While American Collectors New Jersey headquarters is located far inland from the coastal towns that suffered the brunt of Hurricane Sandy's force, we continue to feel the storm's impact. Hundreds ofantique car owners were affected, and in some cases damage to a collector car was the least of their worries. Losses are still being counted, but there will be thousands of cars affected when the numbers are totaled. Many will be written off, but there are also going to be hundreds of cars with body and water damage heading for shops throughout the country, not just in the Northeast. This means there could be a backlog at your local shop - or a shortage of parts. There are areas near the shore where literally every single car was damaged, either by debris or water. As anyone who has ever worked on a water-damaged car can attest, this type of repair is hard going, especially when salt water is involved. It can't just look OK-it has to be disassembled so that any pockets where water could accumulate can be flushed out and resealed. Essentially, all the collector cars that came in contact with salt water will need to be refurbished, restored, or sadly, written off. To get all these cars (not to mention lives) back into something resembling their previous condition is going to take a lot of work, from many people. Fortunately, coming together in times of need is one of the things the old car hobby does best. So even as residents of the Atlantic coast are still struggling with housing, food, and water; car clubs and other organizations in areas that weren't completely devastated are gearing up to try and help. We are prepared to work with car owners in need of advice, consultation or repairs.
The skies are gray, the leaves are falling, and the flakes will soon be here, but in the world of collector cars, the waning days of Autumn and gloomy weather is the perfect time to latch onto that specialty car that you've had your eye on. Now is the best time because with car shows over for the year, many collectors will decide to weed out their collection and part with that special sports car, collector car or project car that maybe, just perhaps, you've been dreaming about for, those many years -AND at a great bargain price. Sometimes a car is “let go” so as to not incur storage and maintence expenses. The upcoming snowflakes also don’t mean the end of the fun for the collector or enthusiast, for now the fun really begins: after acquiring the car of your dreams or that special project, many an enjoyable hour can be had by sitting in front of the cozy fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa, pouring through car magazine or parts catalog. Doing the leg work, scouring the internet for that missing part or doing research on your marque is one of the additional joys a collector can avail himself of during the Winter months. It is also an opportune time to take note of car shows you wish to attend in the upcoming year. Spend some time and take stock of that previously owned or newly purchased sports or collector car sitting in your garage and plot out a plan and your restoration will be the best for it in the long run. So while Winter is a gloomy time of the year for most, for the collector and sports car folk, Winter can be the BEST time of the year- a time to recoup and re- gather, formulating new plans and new ideas for the new year and taking advantage of the falling prices and big bargains to be had in the collectors car market. Check out our website as “new” collector cars are always looking for new homes… Keep an eye out for that special car and remember our “ProjectCar” section if you are looking to get involved in a restoration. Prices are always changing and good buys are to be had! Remember, this is a great time to bring a new purchase or a car you've owned for years to Ragtops and have it ready to enjoy in the spring!

Through the Windscreen

A Look At
Upcoming Events

We are changing the publication schedule for our Shop Talk
e-newsletter from monthly to quarterly in 2013. Look for our Winter Edition in early 2013.
We will be visiting several clubs at their holiday parties, some before the New Year and some after. We hope to see you at many collector car events during the next year.
As I write this, we are once again working to support the 23nd Concours d Elegance of the Eastern United States by bringing cars into the Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia for the
2013 International Philadelphia Auto Show that will be held from January 19 -27,2013.  We are excited as this is to be our first year in the "new" convention center.  It's our understanding that the Eastern Concours d Elegance exhibit will be on the main floor with all the major manufacturers. Everything will be in one hall! Stay tuned for details in our winter Shop Talk.  
From all of us here, have happy holiday season. And if you haven't done it yet, make sure to prepare your vintage car for the winter.
Dave Hutchison

Calendar of Events

December 2012

12/1            Austin Healey Sport and Touring Club Allentown, PA
Delaware Valley Classic MG Club Holiday Party Telford, PA 
LANCO MG Club Christmas Banquet Strasburg, PA
Delaware Valley Jaguar Club Holiday Party Lafayette Hill, PA 

January 2013
13-20: 42st Annual Barrett Jackson Auction, Scottsdale, AZ
19-27 Philadelphia International Auto Show, Philadelphia, PA  
February 2013
Best of Britain, Simeone Museum, Philadelphia, PA 
28- March 2: British Motor Trade Association Annual Convention, Denver, CO  

March 2013
1-3: Atlantic City Car Show & Auction, Atlantic City, NJ 

Works in Progress

We always have a number of interesting projects going on in our shop. Take a look.


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a Vehicle?

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Link of the Month

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Contact Us

Ragtops & Roadsters
203 S. 4th St.
Perkasie, Pa 18944

Pollock Auto Restoration
70 S. Franklin St.
Pottstown, PA 19464
Copyright © 2012 Ragtops & Roadsters, All rights reserved.